Over the last few weeks, I have been visiting an old gym close to work. I used to go there two or three years ago. On the third day of my return, I saw a guy who used to teach me how to do Scott curls. He was one of those naturals with a decently sized gut, but since he also had some meat on his arms, he behaved like an expert.
For better or worse, he looked absolutely the same. There were no visible improvements. He was still fat.
In a conversation with another bro, he said that he’d been training at this very gym for the last five years. This brought my mind to an unavoidable conclusion – natural bodybuilders don’t change past a certain point.
The next week, I met the same guy. In this gym, everybody says “Hello!” even if they see you for the very first time. This was new and weird to me because I had spent a lot of time in dungeons where grunting as if you are getting banged by an alien and spitting on the floor is the norm. Things like “Hello!” are replaced by a mean silent look with a special underlying message “Go fuck yourself, insect!”
So, this bro said “Hi!” to me and proceeded with a chest and biceps workout. As expected, he started with the flat bench press while I was accumulating sin by having fun on the leg press machine. The guy was benching about 55kg. I thought that this was just a warm-up, but it wasn’t. He didn’t increase the weight and proceeded to the incline bench press. Meanwhile, I was even deeper into Sin City doing sets 20 on the leg press and enjoying some crazy quad pump.
The bro used about 40kg for his incline barbell press. I expected him to be much stronger than that. After the incline, he switched to 10kg hammer curls and finished his workout with 20 minutes on the bike.
Unless the guy was having an ultra-light day or nursing injuries, I don’t think there’s a respectable reason to be this weak after 5 years of training. Benching 55kg when you weigh 80kg yourself cannot be that difficult. Well, the next week, he did the same workout.
The guy was a classic example of the principle “I will do the same thing every time and expect things to change anyway.” There are a lot of people who live by this rule consciously or not. I am certainly not an exception but in other areas of life. When it comes to training, repeating the same workout in terms of weight is just as boring as it gets to me.
I felt kinda sad because many people use similar examples to make naturals look bad and accuse us of poor training. However, I don’t think the guy’s spa workout is the reason why he looked the same compared to past years. Sure, he was fat and that can be changed with proper dieting, but muscle size wise, naturals truly don’t report substantial changes after the initial gains.
Sadly, this phenomenon is observed even among guys who put a lot of effort in the fight against gravity. I can’t say that I train the hardest of all people, but I always try to push myself one way or another. I have never done a routine without a progression mechanism. Yet I don’t look exceptionally different compared to my previous years either.